Simon overcomes calls

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:08 AM ET


 SAN JOSE -- On the surface, the likely cause seemed over-exuberance.

 Being a little too excited about returning to the lineup after four long weeks on the shelf.

 Chris Simon didn't pin his pair of first-period trips to the sin bin on that, however.

 He simply called foul.

 "I don't agree with the penalties that were called against me," said the hulking winger who returned to the Flames lineup after nearly a month.

 "I don't usually say things like that but I don't agree with both of those calls.

 "The second time, the guy (Kyle McLaren) punched me in the face when I didn't do anything. And the first time, he (Alexander Korolyuk) fell down after he hit me after the whistle.

 "I'm glad the guys played awesome after those."

 He was much better after, too.

 Simon, who injured his knee in the third game of the Vancouver series, was finally back in action yesterday afternoon and he certainly made himself noticeable.

 For the wrong reasons.

 First, Simon was flagged for elbowing Korolyuk, retaliating after being hit by the Sharks forward after the whistle -- a penalty made worse by the fact Flames linemate Chris Clark was already en route to the penalty box for slashing, setting up a five-on-three powerplay.

 Then Simon, in his first shift back from that infraction, was called for roughing McLaren when he stepped in the middle of a wrestling match between the Sharks defenceman and Clark.

 At least that time, both teams went down a man.

 From that point on, though, Simon provided the play Calgary had been lacking while he was on the shelf.

 He caused more than a couple of turnovers with his aggressive forechecking and then used his massive frame to provide the screen for Craig Conroy's second tally.

 Although Simon started the game on a line with Clark and Yelle, his presence was felt throughout the lineup.

 "They know they have to watch him because he finishes his checks and is so strong and tough in front," said Conroy, who had Simon on his left wing during plenty of shifts. "I thought he was awesome and looked like he didn't miss a beat."

 Simon said the didn't feel like he had either.

 "I know the coaches don't want me in the box but I play physical and sometimes you're gonna get (penalties) when (playing) physical," he said.

 "The youth on this team seems to make me younger, too."


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